Fighting the storms and constant rain, volunteers have once again taken to the streets of Downtown Ellijay to erect their twice-annual cross memorial to veterans from Gilmer County.
With Memorial Day less than a week away, the crosses represent past veterans who are no longer with us, though not all lost in battle. The American Legion Women’s Auxiliary place over 800 crosses on the roundabout and down Main Street respecting and honoring the sacrifice of service from soldiers of Gilmer County.
Though the crosses will be back in November for Veteran’s day, you can go downtown this weekend to pay respects and enjoy the memorial as part of this special weekend and holiday.
The crosses still hold the American Flag atop them, a tradition started in November of 2015.
The Ellijay Mountain Bike Association (EMBA) attended the Gilmer County Commissioner’s May meeting to officially request a letter of support for adding and extending trails at Carter’s Lake.
According to their proposal, as a part of the Southern Off-Road Biking Association (SORBA) and the International Mountain Biking Association (IMBA) this project is looking to construct multi-use trails at the sight which will not only support mountain bikers, but hikers, dog walkers, hunters, runners, and bird watchers as well.
While still very early in the planning process, those involved have already completed a preliminary feasibility study along with Preston York of FlowMotion Trailbuilders, a professional trail builder. Terry Palmieri of EMBA spoke with the Commissioners saying that while Gilmer has been claimed as the Mountain Bike Capital of Georgia, we still lack beginner to intermediate trails for families and groups who may want to mountain bike but can’t quite make the miles of advanced and expert tracks we currently have. Part of the conceptual plan they currently have would add over 15 miles of additional trails that would range in difficulty for those needs.
Part of the addition would also add other types of trails such as what is called a flow trail. York described this type of trail as wider and easier than average mountain trails. Providing a minimal amount of pedaling and braking, this type of trail allows riders to “surf” the trail as you can coast through large portions of the trails. York says flow trails has more “rollers” in the trail to provide varying G-forces to the riders body as well as sloped turns that bikers will take with almost no need for braking or slowing.
There was opposition present at both the Commissioner’s Work Session and Regular Meeting. However, in the work session when the EMBA and FlowMotion representatives said their plan abandoned an idea to add a connector between the Ridgeway and Woodring Branch areas the lawyer representing those in opposition stated “without the connector trail being there, my clients really don’t have a particular issue.” The reasons they gave for abandoning the connector included proximity to homeowners, needed construction for bridges, and a great stress to emergency services attempting to reach the area.
These additions will not only add more trails to attract more bikers through the County’s efforts, but Palmieri also suggested that IMBA is changing their requirements for a special title, “Ride Center Designation.” This designation would have the international organization advertise Gilmer County as one of its best locations for biking. She also stated in the regular meeting that Gilmer could be the only place in Georgia to get this title under the new requirements she had seen.
Mike Palmieri also spoke at both meetings. Speaking of the biking community, Mike stated that through EMBA’s surveys over the years, they have discover that mountain bikers have invested $911,257.68 into this county over 30 years. Through volunteers and work hours donated, locals have upheld this industry, but now they are requesting the county’s support of the project so they can use it for grant writing and other goals they are attempting to achieve. Mike attended the Commissioner’s regular meeting in his fireman’s Class A Uniform. He stated wore the uniform to recognize the sacrifice of locals in the form of volunteer service and countless hours building and upkeep for the trail systems.
Considering the withdrawal of the homeowners opposition, the Commissioners did approve their letter of support. This will allow those involved to take their support and add it to grant requests and applications for the trails. Providing just a letter of support, the County has not committed to any amount of financial support at this time.
The path now, according to Palmieri, will have EMBA turn their conceptual plan over to the Corps of Engineers who will go through their own process to inspect the areas and the plans before any construction can begin. According to Corps of Engineers representative and Operations Manager for Carter’s Lake, Miriam Fleming, who attended the Commissioners regular meeting, since they are just getting the plan, this process could take around two years.
Ellijay (GA) – A raccoon that was recently found in a residential area of Ellijay in Gilmer County, Georgia has now tested positive for rabies.
The raccoon was out during the daytime on May 9 and appeared to be sickly as it wandered in the campground area of Coosawattee River Resort, a gated community in Ellijay. A resident, concerned about the danger the raccoon might have posed to people and pets in the neighborhood, shot the animal so it could be tested for rabies.
The raccoon was tested by the Georgia Department of Public Health Laboratory on May 10 and the positive results were reported on May 11.
There was no known human or domestic animal exposure to the raccoon.
Health officials are continuing to remind the public to avoid all wild animals and pet owners should maintain rabies vaccinations in their pets. If a pet receives an initial one-year vaccine, it can receive a three-year rabies vaccination on the following year.
Rabies is prevalent in wild animals such as raccoons and skunks but can be found in coyotes, foxes, bats, bobcats and other wild carnivores. Rodents and opossums are rarely found with rabies, but a bite from any wild mammal should cause concern and be reported to a healthcare provider and the local environmental health office.
Children should be warned to avoid contact with wild mammals and any stray dog or cat and to report any contact with these animals to an adult right away.
For more information about rabies and its prevention, log onto the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website at CDC Gov Rabies .
Approved in their April Meeting, the Ellijay City Council is moving forward with a new ordinance concerning breweries.
The new ordinance actually allows both breweries, defined as a manufacturer of malt beverages, and brew pubs, defined as a restaurant who manufactures and sells malt beverages on site in draft form.
While the ordinance does add normal distances from schools and churches, it also states that,
“All places of business that front River Street or the Ellijay City Square or are on North Church Street, including but not beyond 29 North Church Street, or North Main Street including, but not beyond 28 North Main and are located within the central business district shall be exempt from the restrictions relating to distance from church structures, school structures and school grounds…”
You can also read the ordinance in entirety below:
During their recent meetings, the Gilmer County Board of Commissioners brought up discussion of what to do with the Tabor House.
The building is in advanced disrepair and the Commissioners are seeking options. One interested party has already been looking into the building as a historical building, but it is uncertain that the anonymous party will actually undertake necessary renovations for the building.
While Chairman Charlie Paris told FYN he was interested in the historical context of the building, there is a large need as the building is currently in no shape to host visitors or tours due to structural damage. However, Paris did say the county would continue to maintain the building as it is for people to view from the outside.
Post Commissioner Dallas Miller stated, “I would like to find someone to take it.” as he agreed to a historical significance of the building, but wanting to now have it under County funds. The general consensus of the Commissioners was that the county can not afford to fully renovate, under historic renovation standards, the Tabor House.
The building also sits on county land that could offer greater value due to its proximity to the courthouse and county offices. However, accessing the land while saving the building would be a great feat, according to Chairman Paris, due to the state of the building. This would require some method of transporting the building to a separate location allowing the County to utilize the property.
Another obstacle in the Commissioner’s path involves the Tabor House’s tie-in to the County’s Bonds. A legal hurdle that would require the County to somehow remove the building from its obligation before selling it or leasing it to a party interested in the building. However, Chairman Paris did suggest to FYN that this could be possible if an interested party came forward.
With no set future, it seems one of Gilmer County’s remaining Historical Landmarks could be on unstable foundation in several manners.
Heavy smoke in Gilmer County on April 11th was cause for concern for several citizens. FYN inquired with local City of Ellijay Fire Chief Sam West who promptly checked into it for us.
The smoke hanging over Gilmer today and creating the familiar haze from not too long ago was actually due to a prescribed burn in our neighboring county of Murray (Chatsworth, GA). A shift in the wind caused the smoke to travel over and made many worry there was a fire nearby. It is described as under control and only the smoke has traveled our way.
Controlled or prescribed burning, also known as hazard reduction burning (HRB), backfire, or swailing, is a technique sometimes used in forest management, farming, prairie restoration or greenhouse gas abatement.